Sermon Illustrations

“Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’ As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.” (Mark 1:14-18 JB)

Jesus said: “Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.” (Mark 1:18 JB) Simon heard: “Hey boys, how would you like to be my disciples?” Simon thought: “What kind of a rabbi recruits students on the fishing docks!” It was a baited invitation, and it worked: Jesus hooked the sons of Jonah. They were a whale of a catch, indeed: uniquely equipped to man the decks of the S.S. Disciple Ship.

Seriously, there is a profound play on words: the word parable is formed by joining the preposition para (beside) and the verb ballo (cast). Jesus observed Simon and Andrew “casting” (ballo) a net and thought to himself, “Perfect!” Jesus knew that these fishermen would quickly appreciate the similarities between casting a net and crafting a parable.